Publication details

Exploring vibroacoustic therapy in adults experiencing pain: a scoping review



Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source BMJ Open
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Keywords pain management; rehabilitation medicine; rheumatology
Description Objective: To explore the characteristics and outcomes of vibroacoustic therapy (VAT) in adults experiencing pain. To give directions for future research and clinical applications of VAT in pain management for adults. Design: Scoping review. Data sources: BMČ, CINAHL Plus, Cochrane Library, EBSCOhost, EBM Reviews, EMBASE, Epistemonikos, ERIC, MEDLINE complete, Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar, ProQuest, hand search in unpublished sources. Study selection: All quantitative and qualitative research studies and systematic reviews, without any date or language limit. Data extraction: Two independent reviewers extracted data on the study design, location and setting, the causes of pain, participants, vibroacoustic intervention, measurement tools, and key findings related to pain. Results: From 430 records, 20 were included for narrative synthesis. Fifteen studies researched chronic pain, two studies acute pain, two studies both types of pain and one study experimentally induced pain. The description of VAT applied in studies usually included the description of research experiments, vibroacoustic devices and frequencies of sinusoidal sound. There was high heterogeneity in study protocols, however, 40 Hz was predominantly used, most sessions ranged between 20 and 45 min, and the frequency of treatment was higher for acute pain (daily) compared with chronic pain (daily to once a week). Outcomes related to pain focused mainly on perceived pain; however, other surrogate measures were also considered, for example, an increased number of treatment days or pain medication usage. Conclusions: Research in this area is too sparse to identify properties of VAT that are beneficial for pain management. We suggest VAT researchers describe a minimum of four measurements-frequency, amplitude, pulsation and loudness. Randomised controlled trials are needed to establish reliable scientific proof of VAT effectiveness for both acute and chronic pain. Furthermore, clinical practice would benefit from researching patients' experiences and preferences of vibroacoustic treatment and its psychosocial components.

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